Friday, December 27, 2013

Burns

"I fought who I am inside
Until I wanted, I wanted to die
Instead of finding balance I found hatred
Consumed by failures and ignoring my own strengths 
With no lungs to breath 
I had almost lost everything." 


It burned so fucking much.
I squinted my eyes and threw what I had into the lateral raises,
My trainer stepping in to spot me for the last four.
"10... come on, two more, 11.... 12! Nice!"
I went to my knees immediately, hanging my shoulders, trying to alleviate the burn.
"The pieces are so pretty when you're all put together. It's a shame when they fall apart."
His words echoed in my mind
Searing.
I hadn't fallen apart, trust me, I've been unstable before
And it wasn't this time.
Just hurt.

We had talked
But it always ended in an argument.
He was done; I'm not what he's looking for.
I messed up, that much I'm positive of.
How can I be so selfish sometimes?
He gave me his heart and trust and I wasn't careful with it.
Never seemed to be able to be careful with anyone's
Busy hiding my own away.
Move on Eve. Move on.
God knows how many times I had begged myself to be normal.
Always too aloof and unemotional
Or falling apart at the seams.
"I want you to make me hurt. I don't want to be able to walk tomorrow."

Hurt it did.
Everything
I walked like a geriatric giraffe to the bathroom,
Wincing as the sweet soreness
Grew and burned away the stiffness.
Christmas Eve I had let the emotion take hold
Of the bar.
"Alright, we're going to do body weight bridges. Let's try to get 10."
I sat on the floor and rolled it towards me,
160 pounds forced to the sky.
Thrusting my hips up easily for the first five,
I began to struggle at six.
At nine I was gritting me teeth, but I wasn't giving up.
"I can do 12." I forced out.
It was a weak 12, but 12 none the less.

It seemed like I was always forcing myself to do something:
Starving, eating, crying, being happy, learning, doing, growing, changing, moving on.
Could it ever be enough?
Why was I always too much?

"Okay, this is the last set. You're only doing one rep."
"Why?"
"Well, dead lifts are very taxing on the central nervous system. You're using everything."
"How much?"
"You're looking at 140. It's going to be heavy."
I went into a crouch, placing my hands shoulder length apart,
Supimating my grip to take on the load.
Standing suddenly, knees slightly bent, wiggling my hips and breathing deeply in.
Exhale, completing the routine I had found myself accidentally doing before I began a set of dead lifts.
I crouched into position and breathed out as I tried to lift up.
Nothing.
Frustrated, I walked away for a second.
"Gotta concentrate. It's in here." He pointed to his temple.
I nodded, hands on my knees, staring down the cold metal on the floor.
"The hardest part is overcoming the ground."
A small grin played at my lips.
With a sudden stroke of still confidence, I looked up at him.
"It's not that heavy." I said,
Sure smile
And I knew in my heart that it wasn't.
Burst of exhale, bar sliding up my shins, over my knee, thrusting my hips out.
My legs took the burden, forcing it up in defiance of the struggle,
Letting it slowly down,
Thunking the ground in a loud display of triumph.
My trainer high fived me, I, basking in my success.

Those pieces haven't always been put together.
I can't tell you how many times I've sat in the corner of my bathroom floor crying.
I can't tell you how many times I've yelled into the silence of my cold car
Bundled to keep out the cold that seeps into your spirit.
I had been up and I had been down.
Seen and felt a lot of pain and yet also known joy.
I had held on far too long to some people
Broken trust
And not tried hard enough for others.
Being manipulative when angry was too much of an art for me
With words that cut and tore.
They trusted me.
I was never good at being honest with a boyfriend.
Made excuses for why I couldn't move forward.
The plight of being human.

I can't talk about my feelings because I hate them.
So I talk about the gym because I became emotionally dependent on it.
Feeling my chin, pulling at my stomach and cheeks,
Trying not to believe that I got fat.
I'm 160 pounds.
There was a day when that number made me cringe and pull at myself
Trying to find the zipper.
Now I'm more solid than I've ever been.
Muscular.
I remember when the holidays were something so scary and now I'm shoveling in plates of food.
More concerned if it's clean or not than the number of calories going in.
Fuel.
Worried about losing gains than losing.
We figured that my basal metabolic rate for a day, the amount of calories I need just laying horizontally awake, is 1500.
In order to maintain this muscle I need to eat 2462 calories a day.
That's 205 grams of protein
307 grams of carbs
and 46 grams of fat
In one day.
The capabilities of being a human astound me.
I've lived on 300 calories in one day, plus exercise
And on the other spectrum I've lifted my body weight.
The flexibility and perseverance of being human.

"I mourn the days that I wasted 
Trying to change what has been set 
Fighting against myself
Before I tear, tear out my eyes
I'll just admit they're part of me." 

"I hope you know I don't want it to be like this. I just think I'm doing the right thing. I am fighting for what I think is right. And I'm fighting so fucking hard."
"I know. I just want everything to be okay. I wasn't careful with your heart and I'm so sorry. I was afraid you were going to break mine an I broke it on my own."
"Sorry I overreacted."
"Thanks. It's okay. I'm sorry I can be so insensitive."
"I do love you. And I don't just say that."
"I know you do. You wouldn't be letting me stay in your life if you didn't. I've realized that this is not at all how you usually do things. And I love you. I mean that."
I wish I could hold on to him,
But you never grow if you're always lifting the same amount.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Milestones


It was ten after eight and we were running a little late.
"Just pull over here! We have to run!"
My best friend hates being late.
Quickly I grabbed my cap and gown, discarded my coat, and bailed out of the car after her boyfriend.
So many faces making their way towards the arena and I held a piece of her gown in my fingers while trying to fix my hair around the awkward cap.
I had drank the night before and my stomach wasn't happy.
I had only drank one cup of coffee and my head wasn't happy.
We made our way over to the College of Arts and Sciences table and collected our number.
With last names different, we weren't sitting together, but she and I navigated our way to the bathroom and then our respective lines
Navigating much as we had done together in the last three years of college.

I sat amongst the others in a sea of black.
A little over 1000 of us total.
Faces of families blurred together in the endless mass.
There, in the far corner-mom, her boyfriend, grandma, grandpa, L., and his mom.
My six seats of pride.
I could feel them glowing as they scanned the bobbing caps for mine.
Our senator spoke, something about preferring to try and fail then never trying at all.
The day before my former boss had pulled me into a warm hug, telling me never to settle for anything.
I could only see a few rows ahead, girls trying to fix their hair under the awkward caps.
Guys hunched forward or sitting tall.
All of us waiting, about to set off into the world.
In that moment I wondered to myself how many of us would settle.
I wondered who would have a beautiful life an who would strive only to gain nothing.
Would we marry and have children and work in the field that our degrees were meant for?
How many of us would be professionals in our field and how many would work somewhere completely unrelated?
Would we died young or live old?
No matter the destination we all sat, hopeful, anxious, smiling, and frowning.
All of us about to embark on a journey.

At first I had felt that maybe it wasn't such an achievement.
I mean, many people go to college, but as the administration called for my college to receive our diplomas, I felt a little pride begin to warm and grow.
My row rose , and with slight nervous anticipation, I straightened my cap, smoothed my gown, and stepped forward to accept what would be the first step into the professional world.
Being an adult.
The faculty members congratulated me and I realized then that What I had done was worth of pride.
I had spent many a night awake until four and five in the morning fighting depression, had weathered a divorce and mom's attempted suicide, an unhealthy relationship with a boyfriend that had gone to prison, had endured anxiety attacks, a relapse of anorexia, lost and gained friends, made many a poor choice and spent plenty of drunken nights on a floor or two.
I had studied abroad in Greece, held many great leadership positions, worked while going to school, been accepted into graduate school, and decided to recover.
When I finally found my family once we were dismissed I looked at my mother.
Gosh. She was so proud of me.
"Don't cry mom," I said as I took her in my arms and held her tight.
I don't think I've ever been so happy that I had made my family proud than the day I graduated valedictorian and the day I graduated college, about to move on to my masters.
The days that all that work and support was brought to fruition.
I couldn't have done it without them not by a long shot.
I didn't graduate with distinction but it didn't matter.

I'm really nervous, you know?
I've never done this whole growing up thing and I never believed I was going to recover from my ED or ever truly escape depression.
It's scary moving to a new place where I only have two acquaintances there and I don't fully know what to expect when I start my masters, but I'm hopeful.
Truly.
I wanted things to work with that guy and in the end I learned that our choices have consequences, ones that you can't always fix or change.
Things have been aching and I've felt the fatigue of finals week and changes seep in.
I'm really nervous but I'm hopeful,
And sometimes that's all you need to be.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Fibers

It started with a Guiness. 
I was never good at ordering for myself at bars, didn't ever really have any favorite beers.
So he picked for me.
He said that he'd never driven after drinking before, not even after one.
Or that he'd never just told someone he'd just met about his father dying.
That was when it was still warm outside
And the approaching fall made exploding colors of leaves and hearts.
"You're the kind of girl a guy leaves a door unlocked for."
That door was unlocked and his bed open for several weeks before I let myself loose.
Still stays unlocked and open
Even now.

        It started with some Blue Moon and Redd's
Homework spread on the bed and desk
looking at his broad back and the line of his tricep.
Lowering myself to his lap, where we still find me every day
Feeling his lips for the first time
The way I have his skin, his eyes, the way he talks and moves
accidentally
Memorized.
        And ends January 3rd.



"But not everything in the past is bad."
Coat zipped to my nose, white fog from my breath rolling over the edge.
"It was really good. 99% of it was great but the past is the past and I don't go back."
Last try.
"I would do anything it took to make it work..."
"I know you would, but I just don't."
"I understand."
The street lights of 3 am rolling by ice frosted windows.
The heart I drew still on the windshield corner.
I hope it stays there.
I hope he forgets to wash his blanket with the gold and red strands on his pillows,
Pieces of me
Folded into the creases of his comforter
When she comes into his room.
I hope the smell of my Japanese cherry blossom perfume still lingers when he turns over to sleep at night.
And maybe the bottles from that night he saved will still line his shelf
Until the end of the year.
Maybe he'll think of me.

Sometimes he would tell me about when he was on Warped Tour
And play some of the songs from his band.
Hearing the double base
Smiling as he air played his drums
Knowing I had sat on those legs
And his fingers had lingered, explored, held me.
Nights we had laid naked on his bed
And he played his guitar
Pulling the blanket up the my chin
Watching it snow.
Now I skip them on my shuffle
Because it hurts too much.

I don't know if I love him.
It's more like he's one of the fibers that I'm made of.
Please don't make this the end....
Bitter, flamed, heated anger at myself
If you could open up this cool exterior
You would find me
Writhing and twisting
Crying and disintegrating
Hopeless and hopeful
And empty
Too full
Too feeling.
Needing him but knowing I'm able to move on
Stop.
I hate that you won't let me make it right
Hate that I made it wrong.
Make it cold, seal it up, make me indifferent and accepting.
Make me feel like you.

He wants the world
Something I want too.
He'll do what it takes
And succeed.
Success is seductive to me.
His drive and attitude contagious.
What could have beens
I'm holding on to like certainties.
No one will ever contain him
He lives for himself
And shares with those he cares about.
Wants to see the world.
Will be rich enough to do all the things he plans.
Intriguing, painting a picture of a life of adventure I want.
He'll never be tamed but somehow he quiets and ignites.
I'll never find someone that does what he does to and for me again.
Never duplicating.
Maybe that's the beauty of these experiences.

Move on
Move on.
Starting graduate school in January.
Nervous about the loneliness of moving to a new place
And making new friends.
Planning on making my training more intense and focused since we won't be working out together
Trying to be more strict with my eating
Driven with my studies
And still moving forward with my growth.
I'll make a life of adventure,
I swear.

I hope
I hope
I hope that we'll collide now and then
Because it's a rare occasion when you meet one of the people that
You're made of
And they
You.
I hope.
Because until then
That siren in my heart
Will keep singing your song
Of fibers
And physicality
The one
You taught me.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

23

I brought in my 23rd birthday with a cup of cheap diner coffee in one hand,
Pencil in the other
Scrambling to finish the collaboration of homework assignments
Piecing together questions I had missed
Looking for the English translations of my Spanish texts.
I'm not sure whether I'm melting or dying
But it's dead week.

It truly brought a smile to my face and heart when those of you that I'm friends with on Facebook or that I talk to on the phone sent me all kinds of love.
I started this blog on a downward swing of a relapse and I don't know what I had hoped to get out of this.
What I did get was much more than I had ever though possible.
I just know that I was really hurting, and while I still hurt for one reason or the other (often times my own fault) I have received more love and support than I ever thought possible.
There have been days I was was manic, sitting on my dorm room floor sobbing, writing, trying to feel and not feel, trying to make sense of life and myself.
Anywhere is better than that time though, and I couldn't have done it without everyone's gentle reminders to keep going.
There have been times I've been stern with some of you, but it's only because I care,
And there are times that you've allowed me to share in your joys and victories, big or small.
I started out at 162, was 129 by May, and I'm again 160 (I checked.)
But this time, this time I'm stronger, made of muscle and actual pride in myself and the work I put in to get here.
I finally broke out of my unhealthy relationship, I committed to recovery, mind and body.
I still have to work on bad habits like cheating, fearing commitment, and doubting myself.
Let's see where I am next year. :)

I wasn't sure where to go from here, if my blog was even worth reading, or if was even that good, but I would miss everyone too much and I like airing out my thoughts and heart now and then.
Why not stick around for another year?
Thank you everyone for hanging in there and thank you for your support.
Some of you have been my 2 am calls, pushing me to keep going and making sense of things when I struggled to understand and see how I and any of it was worth it.
You're all some of the best people I've ever "met."
God truly blessed me.


I think it's fun when I read more about the people behind the blog so I thought I would do a few things about me (courtesy of those ridiculous "ask me anything" lists) and maybe you guys can add a little about you.

1. Favorite food: ice cream and pulled pork
2. Favorite color: turquoise or green
3. Biggest turn on: confidence, intelligence, kindness
4. Biggest turn off: arrogance, being egotistical
5. What's your style?: I don't have one ha. but really, I like work out clothes or dresses. Hate jeans. It's all about being comfortable for me. Also, love tattoos and piercings.
6. Hobbies: lifting
7. What are you most proud of?: being accepted in my master's program, graduating college, committing to recovery
8. Favorite book: any books written by Ted Dekker
9. Favorite movie: Forrest Gump, LOTR trilogy, Seven, The Machinist
10. Favorite band: In Flames, As I Lay Dying, Avicii, Periphery, 10 Years (House and Metal are my two favorite genres)
11. Three words that describe you: Quirky, Sweet, Blunt
12. Favorite poem: anything by Emily Dickinson or Pablo Neruda
13. What's your most outstanding personality trait?: I'm very loyal to the people I care about, almost to a fault.

I'm usually never on time, I'm really laid back about things, I care a lot about people (sometimes to the point that I need to learn to care for myself), I love Spiderman and hate making plans. I'm from the Midwest and grew up in the country but I don't want to stay here. Just need more opportunities at life. I love to to travel and volunteer. I fear commitment but stay long after the relationship should have ended. I like to take long trips. When I get stressed out I nap (don't do that!). I loved studying Psychology, even though people say it's an easy major for people with daddy issues. Whatever. I prefer coffee over tea and I'm afraid of carbs even though I need them. My favorite flower is the orchid and my favorite drink is a margarita. I'm a night person and I hate sleeping past 9:30, 10 am. I love rain and hate winter.  I have five tattoos and twenty piercings. I make awesome pie and know how to work hard. Velvet makes my skin crawl and I can't be naked with my socks on. I'm bad at putting my laundry away but hate a dirty kitchen. I hate deadlines but need them, procrastinate, and want my next car to be a manual transmission.

So there's a little bit about the girl behind the blog.
I hope you're all doing well. Thank you again for the birthday wishes!
I graduate next weekend and so I'm sure I'll have lots of thoughts and worries. Plus, you'll need to see me all dignified in my cap and gown! :D


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

No Poetry In It

There's nothing poetic in heartbreak.
I don't know why people romanticize it so much.
I don't feel like a martyr refined by some idealistic fire.
No, I feel like I'm 22, (23 next week), lost, trying to make it work in a world full of uncertainty.
My best friend's friend kissed me and I didn't tell him the night it happened.
I told the friend that I was seeing someone but it happened at the bar anyway.
Didn't matter to the guy I was seeing.
He considered it as me lying.
"I can deal with a cheater, but I can't deal with a liar. I'm sorry but I let you in and you are no longer allowed in."
And just when he told me he loved me.
Then revoked the phrase.
I'm so terrible that I wish I would have lied.

Even now I'm starting to cry.
Haven't been able to eat.
Just want to sleep because the dull ache that fans to a roar throughout the day is too much.
Still friends.
He taught me to merge the emotional and the physical and all I want to do is escape.
I pulled the emergency hatch to keep myself locked in, forcing myself to feel emotions.
So many apologies, hoping one would stick.
Formulating argument after argument.
In vain.

Why is it that I feel more attachment to someone that I knew for only a few months,
Someone that I knew would be temporary?
And yet I couldn't fully stick to L who would provide me with a safe, loving environment to grow?
Someone who was careful with my heart.
Yet I want the someone that forced it to beat faster, with fury and passion, forcing it to grow.
Someone make sense of it for me.
Please.
Because the scope of my analytical mind can't go to this boundary of understanding.

I was never with someone that allowed me to be completely honest.
I was always punished for my candidness and now I have lost someone that gave me entire trust in exchange that I was open with him and I wasn't.
It wouldn't have lasted when I went to grad school, but we could have enjoyed these last three weeks.
We could have ended on better terms.
I hate myself right now.
I hate myself for hurting him when he was absolutely good for me.
I hate that he says he doesn't want to be without me but he doesn't want to be with me because of this.
I hate that I hurt and I hate that I have such poor character that I wish I would have lied.
I'm going to regret this for a while.
Heartbreak is the worst, and there's no poetry in it.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Back Again

I'm racing him west,
Only he's somewhere up in the inky night sky
And I'm chasing tail lights listening to
As I Lay Dying, August Burns Red, and All Shall Perish.
Songs for the violent emotion rolling around your chest.
I didn't know what to do to quiet the aching raw Distraught.
It was warm, alarming,
Curling and turning
Tricks for a silent audience of ribs.
So I did what I knew
And brought my homework to his room.
He said he still cared about me, we just were better before we tried to make a relationship.
Opening that door was like taking a pure hit.
Inhale.
Hold.
Relaxed by some mysterious comfort people we feel attached to bring.
Nothing had changed.
I don't trust his hands.
not in ability,
But in composition.
Yet I find myself utterly softened, anesthetized 
Like only he can do,
Taming frantic heart chasing emotions.
Play at my strings
I'll gather them for you to pull even.
Pluck
Pluck
Thrum.
We went to our usual study spot
And hours later, when words on pages had blended together
He set his pen down amongst legal pads
Grasping keys.
"Come on."
I knew.
Flirty sarcasm was always how I knew
Something was still there.
We left the books to keep coffee mugs and well intentioned homework company. Drove his car around the block.
Back seats laid down
Crawling over to reacquaint lips.
Still smolders of need
Igniting flint paper skin.
I was just getting my fix.
Veins and thighs.
When we returned, hair a mess
Cheeks flushed as a red flare of where we had been,
He said, "Why do we make a better couple when we aren't dating?"
"I don't know. I just know that I'm always drawn to you."
Words of an addict spoken softly.
I need him.
I don't.
Need to breath him in,
Crawl from the inside out
Magnetic.
Seemingly dependent .
Get me out.
Let me back in.
He said I'm not very emotional, can't verbalize how I feel about him if we are officially dating.
Not quite worth the investment with the little I put out.
I'm trying.
Never had I hurried more to feel than in the last three months.
January, please stay away...
I took him to the airport
Kiss through the open car window
Wishing I could quit
Knowing I would want him
Relapse into those arms if after this semester he might find it in his heart
Or somewhere carnal
To let me.
Picking up my phone for a final good bye,
Because I would practice letting him go this weekend:
"I hope you have a safe trip."
"Taking off now. You're the best, thanks for everything. Miss you already :)"
"No problem. I do too."
"Haha, we text at the same time. True love."
"Pretty much :)"
"I do love you. I hope you never question that. Just wanted to say that in case this drunk pilot hits a mountain."
"I love you too and I definitely hope he doesn't. Text me when you get in just in case lol."
Craved it.
Craved that ridiculous little phrase
Despite our short time together.
Wait January...
You can't rob me.
Because he won't chance a far.
And I already bought my plane tickets that cut our time over break in half. 
The ache again.
Brash decisions made when I thought we were done.
Non refundable tickets and time.
I hate this.
While he's right next to me.
While I still melt into him
And my touch gives him goosebumps.
Desperate pleas from a place I hadn't used, somewhere inside.
I hate moving on.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

When You're Alive



"Sun and Moon" by Ocean Lab (Evan Duffy cover)

It's strange, that moment of disconnect.
"I really think we should just be friends."
"Alright. Did something happen?"
"I'm extremely unhappy all the time."
"Because of school?"
"And you."
"Sorry. What did I do?"
"Maybe nothing. Spark is gone. We just lost honesty and communication along the way. I kept trying to fix it, but you were either oblivious or unable. Either way, I'm not mad or angry but it's over. Just leave it at that."
"I was honest with you. I couldn't always communicate but I was honest. We did what we could. No hard feelings. It was  great few months, doesn't change that you're a fun and great friend or how I feel about you."

Painfully real.
             Don't go....
Love,
like,
and lust.
That was his riddle.
Tongue scraping the backs of our teeth.
Finding out which it was.

I want to fix this.
There's something in my chest longing to pull it back together.
Tears coming to my eyes.
That indescribable ache.
It doesn't matter in the moment,
The evidence before our eyes
That it's run it's course.

He made me feel so alive.

Scrambling to ground myself in fact:
What I learned
Memories that were good
Things I felt that I had never before
   Regrets...
      Things I should have done differently...
          Ways I could have been different, not wasted our limited time.
No.
She said I wasn't allowed to blame myself, my friend and I, as we talked about it.
It was two nights ago,
Laying in the dark as he and I had so many times.
"I think this will be good for you, learning to let go."
"Maybe. When you have something so good it's just hard. I want to make it last."

Just a little more time....

The first night we talked,
I was sitting against his closet,
his friend to my left against the desk,
and he leaning against the leg of his bed.
His eyes, that ruddy hazel
Hair a little past his shoulders
Air of self-confidence rooted deep
Showing in the comfortable way he sat.
The first night we kissed,
Hungry
Consuming.
As though we couldn't be close enough.
Seductive gazes across diner tables
Hands stroking thighs under the table
Comments holding double meaning
One for now
The other for late night laters.
The first time we melted into each other.
The bruise on my shin when he pushed me against the bed.
Skin to skin
Hot
And heavy with need.
His body, slightly blurry from
Eyes that just woke up.
A kiss here.
Heart flutter there.
A succession of moments
One
     after
            the
                other.

We should be grateful for those pieces of time someone allows us to merge into.
Grateful for the lessons they plant into our stubborn skin with
Soft or
Abrasive lessons.
Let them seep between the cracks of our
All but sealed hearts.

But for now,
It burns inside these spaces I coaxed open in myself
The places I left bare,
Vulnerable.
Pain will fade with time,
Lessons we collect in youth.
Maybe I'll let it burn,
These emotions
Maybe I'll cry
Because that's what you're supposed to do
When you're alive.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Siren



He's probably not that good of a person.
More of a selfish titan than hero.
But I love running my slate painted nails down his back and watching the goose bumps follow in my wake.
I smile slyly.
My piece of power.
Then get up to go to the bathroom.
I love the way a hall looks when you look down with too much to drink.
Ethereal.
Long.
Nonexistent.
Parallax.

Nothing could phase him.
I think.
Confident, self assured, delicious ambition.
The kind of person that begs to be dominated.
Destroyed.
I wish I could.
How I wish I could.
I would make him fall in love with me
Or at least feel strongly for me
Like all the other poor souls just to show them the mirror.
Make them see those ugly parts of themselves they left to roam.
Self-appointed siren.
Masquerading as vigilante.
Shhh don't fault me.

I'm not a lady.
More of a buddy than your queen on the pedestal.
On my knees pretending I cared about delicacies.
Fragile?
Never.
Unless we're talking emotions.
You're not staying around
and I won't make you stay.
Wishing I could make you crawl.
Crawl across the floor with your black heart in your hands.
My foe is formidable.
Physical.
The challenge I won't conquer.
But it's okay, for now.

I'm calling, calling.
Luring you in with that naive vulnerability.
Last attempt to capture you
With that net called lust.
We're a balance of too hard or too soft,
People.
Hands flat on his chest, sitting on top.
With a little bead of sweat rolling from my temple.
Hair that hangs down my bare chest.
Where are your ribs now, little girl?
She isn't here,
and I'm playing woman.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's the Journey


Winter is a gradual process.
Slithering across the cool tile floor until she reaches your ankles.
Pulls herself up, legs on either side of your thighs.
Seductive frigidity.
Winding across exposed stomach up your back.
Counting each vertebrae.
Goose bumps.
Something isn't right.
Shhhh she whispers in your ear.
Gently gliding through strands of your hair until settling in your scalp,
A kiss at your temple.
Sinking,
Sinking in.
Then...
                       it gets quiet.

It started that night at the diner
Fifth cup of coffee
Dumping a cream and a packet of Sweet n' Low in the cup before the coffee.
Watching white swirl amongst the brown.
Liquid vitality for the hopeless 3 AMers.
Inability to focus on my readings and assignments.
A little less getting done every day after.
Words a blur
Fade
F  a  d  i  n  g








Time is often marked by the shifting shadows of the drying, dying leaves fluttering outside my window.
The sun sleeps earlier, world in darkness.
Is it nostalgia or dependency?

I guess I don't really know.
When I plant, I plant my roots too deep, hoping for comfort.

         I told you to be patient
               You asked me to be kind
                        And it's all a waiting game
                                      We fabricate in our minds



There it was, that depression, creep
                                                         creep
                                                                  creeping.
Slowly.

I spent more hours wrapped up in the sheets of denial between my bed and his than I would like to admit.
Sleeping too often.
Eating too often.
Feeling the familiar too much and yet not enough.
Walking on the remnants of summer who had just died
Kaleidoscope dreams fading.
Holding on,
Clawing,
Pulling.
It dragged regardless.
Hope comes in April for me.
And never in the morning.

I had a good feeling about it,
Just this time.
Looking anxiously for the past week.
Entering my information in the correct boxes.
Hands knitting together with anxious anticipation.
The blue bar loading at the top of my screen with it's own careless cadence.
There it was.
My acceptance to graduate school.

You know, a lot of things lead up to where you are.
Pain.
Struggle.
Beauty.
Love.
All of it a single piece of time
Of experience.
Suddenly I realized that I don't know where I'll be at in five years.
Maybe not two.
I just know that I don't want people to go.
I don't want things to end.
I want to feel
and consume
and be and I don't want to let any of it slip away.
But I have to.
Natural order of change and all.
In that moment I felt proud of myself.
I felt truly proud that I was about to finish my undergrad and about to begin graduate school.
Not everyone does.
I made it through the fire of the past.
About to close that book and begin a new one.
Pushing the depression back again with the anticipation of a better future.
I could do nothing but sigh, bring my fingers to rest on my cheek, and think.

It's about the journey.
It's the privilege of occupying space of time, minutes, seconds, hours, with someone
Anyone.
No matter what they become.
More like who they help you to become.
Placing pieces back in your holes where you can no longer breath.
And the pieces you place back in them.
Or something like that.




"I will have been able to say that I loved him," I thought to myself as I looked around his room.
That night I laid on the inside, closest to window on my side.
He lay on his back.
Feeling us blink in the dark through the mattress.
"When you're there over winter break it will be bittersweet because all the time we spend together is studying or working out. It will be our first and last vacation together. The only time we got to honestly spend time without school with each other. Then when we get back we part ways."
I could feel something rising in my chest, up through my throat, but not tears.
Indignant over something that I knew had to happen.
That I had planned for and understood for in my mind anyway.
"It just makes me mad. We spent all this time together for nothing."
"I don't think it was for nothing. I'm sorry, I'm just being honest."
"I know. It's just sad. I'll enjoy what we have and take what I've learned."


Monday, November 4, 2013

The Interview



I was so nervous that morning.
Probably straightened my dress at least ten times.
Crossed and uncrossed my legs.
Checked my messages before beginning.
"You're a fucking bombshell. You're gonna look great, sound smart, and crush this interview. I believe in you. Go get it. You were made for this. Don't take no for an answer."
I'll forever be grateful for him pushing me to do a better personal statement, for pushing me to be more confident, for teaching me to demand better for myself, even if it's only a semester.
A text from L saying he would be praying for me, that I would do great.
Another from one of my best friends wishing me well.

We all sat in the conference room not knowing what to expect, what to do to make ourselves stand out.
"Alright, why don't we get started? How about we get your name, which program you're applying for, where you did your undergrad, and what you would like to do."
A few people started, putting their best foot forward.
One of the School Psychology applicants tried to overemphasize that relationships with the kids was most important to her, recounting a story from the previous week.
Another girl talked about how she worked for a year for a low income housing place and felt that she wanted to work with at risk teens.
Everyone had done their undergrad at this university.
It came to my turn and I looked at each faculty member confidentially in the eye.
"My name is Eve and I'm currently a senior at the University of."
"Ahh yes."
One of them nodded and began to write notes on who I was.
I had never been more proud to go to my college than that moment, knowing that it was a Research One university, knowing that despite how much I had loathed doing literature reviews and research methods, I had been prepared for graduate school.
"I'm applying for the Clinical Counseling program and what I would like to do is work with eating disorder patients."
He looked up again, intrigued.
Half of the people who had went before wanted to work in schools or with at risk teens.
Here was a new one.
"Really? What makes you want to do that."
"It's a really difficult disorder to treat and there aren't very many effective treatment plans available and so I just would really like to work with them because there's a need."
He looked down at his notes, writing, "You know, it's funny you say it's difficult. Recent studies have found that eating disorders and OCD are the two hardest disorders to treat. There's definitely a need."
He looked up, smiling, I, returning his gaze, smiled back.
"Good. Thank you, Eve."
A few of the applicants shifted in their chairs slightly, the next few embellishing more on their stories.
I had been memorable.

From there, we moved on to discussing the diversity vignettes, what we found most difficult, how we felt doing them.
Everyone discussed race as their most difficult.
They talked about cultural things that would make it difficult to relate as well as that the state was lacking in diversity so they had not gotten to work with people of different ethnicities.
"What about you, Eve?'
"I didn't think race was hard. It doesn't matter what color someone is or what their cultural background is; they're people. The trick is to just understand their culture enough to understand what's causing them to feel what they do. People are people and we all feel the same things, it's just a matter of what context it's in."
Again he smiled and searched my eyes slightly.
"You're saying it's the individual?"
"Yes. Exactly. We have to look at it like that, not just seeing race."
Pause, both of us looking at one another again, me throwing in a smile.
"Good."

Later on, we were required to role play with a graduate student while a faculty member observing how we communicated.
My randomly assigned scenario was a girl that was worried her friend had anorexia.
I passed the activities designed to observe my group and communication skills and was straightforward and candid in my answers.
I wanted it.
So much.
I haven't wanted anything so badly lately.
My dad never called to see how it went.
Maybe I'll fill in the gaps of our relationship another time.
It matters, the people that check on, encourage, and love you.
I ended up finding that I was blessed with many to make up for the ones that don't.

Everything was going well.
I was trying to be introspective and work on myself.
About to graduate with my bachelor's.
Worked up the courage and confidence to apply to graduate school.
Had a hobby that facilitated positive body image.
A temporary relationship focused on enjoying the moment and learning about self.
My home life had settled down.
My friendships were great and my relationships with the family members I was close with were good.
That's when it's best to strike, often times.
As we put on our clothes I turned around to look in the mirror.
Bending slightly to the side to inspect my ribs which were no longer prominent.
As I pull up my pants I graze my hips to feel for my bones, ever so discreetly.
They're not poking out either, just laying below the surface, but still touchable.
 None of the dorm food has been healthy and I can't spend my money on food constantly.
Sometimes he would sneak me into the dining hall so that there were better things to eat.

Spearing some steamed zucchini and carrot I said, "This is so good. Really clean. I love it."
"You have a weird way of describing food."
"Huh? No I don't. Fitness people say that."
"Yah, but you use it to describe flavor."
"Hm, I hadn't noticed."
And I hadn't, but I had noticed the way my body had filled out, shapely.
For a while I had like it, being  a woman.
But painfully aware that I was gradually becoming unable to see myself as I really was again.
Couldn't tell if I was beautiful or fat or fit.
Walking into the bathroom, staring at the little pink tiles, contemplating purging just a little.
Wondering how far I could go restricting while maintaing the muscle I had built.
That lesson in a dance that you've long learned the steps to.
Hold on.
Hold on.
Hold on.
Grasping at my own skin wanting to peel it off again.
I'm too much.
The thought rolled out from my mind and down the side walk with the fall leaves.

She sat down in front of me, cunning, hollow, beautiful.
"Why do you think you'd be a good candidate?"
"I was there when you needed me most. Emotions are intense and every time you let them out, you make mistakes. They're not big, but you have to learn to mediate yourself a little better. You're prone to boughts of selfishness and immaturity."
"You didn't help last time. In fact, you set me back."
"I know, and that was wrong of me. This time will be different and we'll do it slowly. You don't have to dive in. Just use me as a sort of moderation."
"It's never just in moderation."
"People change."
"I don't think you're the right fit for me now. I'm trying to move on with my life. I want to grow up, be happy. Be healthy."
"You're not focusing well on school these days, making poor food choices, feeling overwhelmed by all the newness. I could ease it, just a little. No one even need know. Our secret. I saw you trying to unzip yourself again, saw your brow furrow as you opened the fridge. Hating the way jeans feel and the way the sheets didn't feel as beautiful on your bare skin next to him."
"It's just a bump. Recovery wasn't supposed to be easy."
"I saw you."
Swallowing dryly.
"Saw you hesitate at the weight, check for bones and spaces, procrastinated again."
"It's just…"
"It's just a little while. You know you are't focused without me, assignments not as good. Grad school is coming up. You can't slack off like you did in your undergrad."
"Maybe, maybe I can do this on my own. Things are working out."
"And they'll be even better."
She stood up and sauntered to the door, looking over her shoulder, "Just consider me."















Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rustings

The days are a blur, running into one another like a watercolor painting with too much water.
Colors to canvas to liquid cognizance running endlessly.
Drip, drip, drip goes the thorazine caffeine.
The sun seems perpetually asleep as I find myself sitting across from him every night at the diner.
Buried under research hypotheses and court cases as the clock finds itself flirting with three am once again.
It's a frenzy of youth, and I save the best part of the day for last.
And at three-thirty in the afternoon.
Maybe it's the romanticized idea of rusted anodynes exposing flakes of emotional joints
Exposing those wretched things I had long since buried beneath the wake of my old life.

It's just sex. It's just sex. It's just sex.
Rehearsing the mantra over and over again hoping that the third or fourth or fifty-fourth time I would believe it.
Pulling me in close to his body at the end.
Hand on his chest as he lays there with his eyes closed
Feeling the warmth and muscle of his chest under my hand.
Eyes closed.
Shifting only to kiss my forehead.
Believing that I don't care just in case he doesn't as much as me.
Just in case I want to become further attached.
Spread this alabaster rib caged heart wide.
Smother the embers beginning to glow in my chest.

I wanted to talk to you about my apathy.
Watching the seasons pass from my window.
Wishing I was bone and metal softness.
Growing skin over these impasses
of petal sharp granite.

Anodyne rustings. 

I spend many a minute-hour trying to hold on to this.
Then trying to remind myself that if I'm accepted into my masters program I will be moving an hour and a half away. 
And neither of us can manage to stay faithful.
We would break it off before that because we know.
Or we just won't want to do the distance after spending every moment we aren't in class or I'm at work together. 
The things we presuppose.

It's more than just physicality and yet it's simply that.
Or the gains in recovered pieces marked by nakedness.
I couldn't feel for long while and it seemed that my body was separate from my mind.
I had rusted.
Resigned to that thing living we all remark on with a sigh.
The separation spread to my relationships, if that's what you could call them.
On autopilot playing Juliet, that's how he described me.
I denied it because I had found something good, something more mature, even if it was only mine for a moment.

Tomorrow I put on my elegant yet business like dress.
Slip on heels with made up face and hair.
Splash on smiles and don the charisma that is so natural to me.
I'll pretend I don't still struggle with my eating disorder.
That my sexual abuse is a thing of the past.
That my mother's frequent suicidal thoughts as a result of her PTSD from my father doesn't concern me.
That the fact that my father doesn't really support my education or really anything I did in my life or the fact that he hints at thinking I'm ungrateful and like my mother doesn't even cause me to turn my head in contemplation of looking back.
Healthy.
Tomorrow I make my case for why I am a fantastic candidate for the counseling program at this school.
I'm nervous.
A bundle of nerve and hope.

Cleaning off this rust. 


Monday, October 14, 2013

Vulnerable



I knocked on the door three times, "tap, tap, tap," before opening it myself.
He turned in his chair, looking at me with what I can only describe as something like lust and longing both.
Standing up, he pushed his chair back and quickly closed the gap that separated us.
In an instant my cheek was in his hand, lips on mine, pushing me against the door.
My keys and phone found the shelf next to my head as my hand lifted to rest on his opposite cheek, feeling his closely trimmed facial hair under my fingers, left hand tangling up to my middle knuckles around his shoulder length hair.
When the first fire had died, he held me close.
"I'm glad you're back."
Smiling, I nuzzled closer into his solid and warm chest.
"Me too. I missed you."

The drive home usually drags on, being the fourth year I've made it.
Not this time.
Getting out of my car, I looked at the window and took a deep breath.
Up the stairs to his door.
Exhale.
Knocked twice, softly.
L didn't hear it and I had to knock again, three times this time and much louder.
The opening door revealed a smile and he pulled me into a hug, going in for a kiss.
I turned away, saying something to avert what was happening.
We decided to go for dinner, Mexican, and I decided to have three margaritas.
Two Coronas for him.
Conversation flowed, but he could tell something was wrong.
I neglected to try and touch him, be close to him.
"What's wrong?" I asked, swirling my finger around the rim, licking the salt from my finger."
"You aren't as intimate. You aren't the same. What changed?"
"Not here." Eyes burning a hole through his.

We sat on his futon, but I had to get up and pace.
"I'm sorry, I just need a break. I know you said that usually when you and past girls have taken a break it didn't end up working out, but it's not you. I just... I just started dating you too fast. I needed someone to pull me out of that terrible relationship and that responsibility fell on you. I don't know why, but I'm so grateful. Listen, it's not that I doubt the end result. I still think you and I are a great match to get married someday. Right now, I just need to breath. Five years was a long time to be with someone."
Words a jumble.
"What does this mean for us? Just like not be intimate or do less couple things?"
"Well, it's not like we act much different than when we were just friends. We just touch more now. I still plan on seeing you when I'm home and still plan on coming to your Thanksgiving and having you come to mine. I just feel bad because our families think that we're getting married soon and I just need time. Tell them whatever you want"
"It's fine. We can just make this between us."
I swallowed hard.
"Yeah, sounds good. Thank you. I still love you."
Smiling, a bit of sadness touching the corners of his eyes, "I love you too."

"You're going to have to be vulnerable. If you looked back on the one that broke your heart and you could push a button to get rid of all the pain but would take all the good things you learned too, I know you wouldn't push it."
"You're right. I wouldn't."
"Sometimes you just have to trust. What you learn in the end is worth more than the potential of getting hurt."
I looked up into his eyes, probing around to see if this only held a crash and burn ending
"This has the potential to blow up in our faces, but I want to try. I've never felt this before so I don't know if that's what it is. You have. You have something to compare it to."
"What does it feel like?" Fingers running up and down his back, knotting at the muscle below.
"It's warm. I've never felt warm. I can be completely honest and myself with you. I can't get anything done with you around. If I fail out of law school it'll be because of you!" pinching me playfully.
"I can't get anything done with you gone or around." Smiling, I kissed his arm.
"I know what you feel."
"Good things?" looking up at him through eyelashes.
"Things you're scared to say."
"What are they?"
"This has to come from you."
"I don't like being vulnerable. Not at all. I like perceived vulnerability, enough to draw someone in, not enough for them to have me."
"Well, I can assure you that it will be necessary at some point."
"But only if you can be with me. Vulnerable, I mean. Although you're the one that usually is."
"I'm not scared of getting hurt. So I don't give a shit about how vulnerable I am."


"This weekend I went and bought turkey and bread, some cottage cheese. Healthy stuff we can eat. I even bought more turkey because I know bread is a trigger food for you and you'd just want the turkey."
No one but my best friend had ever taken the initiative to soften the raging protests in my mind when it came my ED.
I'm in deeper than I thought.
Tumbling end over end as he tries to heal my pieces, teaching me to be vulnerable, teaching me to feel.
I'm at the point.
I'm at the point where I can't think about anything else but him if I tried.
Desperately forcing my heart up and away from the end of my sleeve, but it slides back every time.
"My goal, if nothing else comes from this, is to take you out in that black dress you love to a nice restaurant and we order pasta covered in alfredo, but not red sauce, no, white sauce, because that's worse for you, and I want you to truly enjoy yourself an not worry. I don't want you to cry when you have to eat pasta."
"That sounds ridiculous, when we say it out loud."
"It's not. It's just something you struggle with. People don't take the time to understand and I want to."



As we fell asleep that night, I felt his strong arms wrapped around me.
Some guilt assuaged from taking the needed break, the needed time to search for who I was.
There was something perfectly right about this moment in my life.
Something like fate or a blessing.
It wasn't acquired in the most honest of ways, and I have lots of work to do on my own, but somehow he's the person I need to hold the mirror up  for the rest of my recovery.
If we never coexisted beyond this moment, I would be okay.
I will have learned lessons far beyond what I could have learned with L or on my own.
That's beautiful.



I could fall in love with him, I thought.

What makes you vulnerable?
Does it haunt you?
Does it make you scared?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Here I Am



"Eve's ability to critically think and hunger to know more about her social world was what encouraged me to talk to her about graduate school. She was always a good student, but the thing that stuck out to me is her inquisitive nature into understanding more than we can provide at an undergraduate level. She has a unique perspective on the world and with time she will develop confidence in her abilities and knowledge, which will make her very successful. Without a doubt, she would be an excellent choice for your school and I highly recommend her."

What is it about people that can take over the world that attracts me so?
That look of desire in their eyes.
Air of confidence.
Capability in each fingertip.
FIbers of humanity showing through.
Mechanical titans.
I watch them, wishing it was me, but it's not.
No five year plan.
No dominating determination.
No, I stopped being that kind of hungry when I decided I'd had enough of anorexia.

We lay there in the dark as we had several weekends in a row, just talking.
"It's like, I don't know. I can't explain it. I just know that other girls with eating disorders feel the same."
"Like what?"
"Like, like if you could, you would unzip your skin and walk out. You would walk out being the person you always thought you should be."
"Hm. And what would you look like?"
I paused. I had never been asked that question and suddenly I was lost for words.
"I guess I don't know."
"You should look like you."


I can tell you secrets only the sheets know.
Pieces of tomorrows shining on strands of my hair lost on his pillows.
Sunlight peaks through the curtain and I move it over slightly, looking at the leaves trying to hold onto their summer green.
Would I always be this rolling stone?
Heart that could never settle, never be scooped up into someone else's?
Always colliding, never fusing.
We often times think of the cheater as a monster.
Second to murder.
Selfish and sly.

Maybe I'm a sociopath
I thought that as I sliced the chicken, knife sliding ever so close to my fingers.
I need someone like Tony.
Someone to treat me like shit so I don't treat other people like it.
Consume, consume, consume.
Painfully aware of the strings that have come loose.
Skin that was sealed shut.
Writhing ugliness under the surface.
Pressuring the hinges.
Maybe that's what I'm learning from this.
I am selfish.
I consume your heart so that you won't consume mine.


In reality, the cheater is very often the 22 year old girl coming out of an emotionally abusive relationship, looking for herself.
It's the notion of being bound to another for life that scares me.
Growing up the has me shying away.
But I won't last forever.
I do love others.
Hurt for them.
And I have places and spaces and things I need to be.
I'll sort something out this weekend.


I closed the copy of my letter of recommendation one of my professor's had sent me.
Here I was, at the place I assumed I would be.
Here I was with hope and promise and bareness of self.


"Let's start at the top."
His hair fell on my forehead as he looked down at me, smiling.
"I like you eyes. They're beautiful and they're almond shaped, which isn't common for your facial structure. I like the shape of your face in general, with the angular features and high cheek bones."
"Funny, I had never thought I lived up to my Czech roots."
"You do."
 Then there's your neck. Long, thin, kissable. That leads down to your clavicle which shows and that sort of cereal bowl thing you have going on which goes into slightly boney shoulders, which I think all looks sexy."
He kissed my forehead and I automatically felt my hand go to my collar bone and deep hallow it made between my bone and trapezius muscle, the long prized measuring sticks of my ED days.
"Your chest is perfect. I don't know why you're self conscious about it, and your stomach is flat."
He held up my arm and closed his hand around my wrist.
"You have these little wrists that suggest you're fragile, which I also like, but I know you're not; you're strong."
Swallowed, cleared my throat a little.
More measuring.
You've got a back that's hard and muscled when I feel it and your legs are long and sexy and muscled. There's no give."
"Sigh... then there's my butt..."
"Shh. I was saving the best for last. It has a perfect shape, perfect everything. Most taller girls lose the shape with the length of their legs."
"I could still use a few more squats."
"You're beautiful."

Here I am.
<click "Submit Graduate Program Application>
I'm ready.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Riddle






There's something about dead lifting.
Something brute and sexy.
Iron beckons you from the ground, daring, flirting.
Hands find their places wider than legs, butt down, knees bent.
Inhaling, I look at myself in the mirror and feel the roughness of the bar in my grip.
Tighten, untighten, steel, squeeze, exhale, lift.
Like everything in life, it's overcoming the heaviness over starting on the ground.
My form is nearly perfect and I can feel the measured glances of everyone around the gym switch to me.
Including the girl I silently compete with.
He said he had to get a drink during my sets to avoid staring.
I can feel it in my butt, my back, my hamstrings, my core, counting silently to myself.
I can feel something.

The three of us sat in the little 50's retro themed bar sipping martinis and mojitos, telling stories from our undergrads, times past.
Reckless and wild in our continued search for adulthood.
The alcohol trickled down conscience fortified veins like hot liberation and without thought I gently moved my hand to his knee which sat so close to mine.
Each finger slowly stroked his leg, one at a time in agonizing tempo.
His arm immediately rippled.
"It's kind of cold in here, I'm getting goosebumps."
Looked up, smiling at me.
"Yah, it's pretty chilly," rubbing my own arm convincingly.
"A little bit," his friend said, looking around the room at others sitting at their tables and making a comment about a mutual friend.
The moment conveniently falling through the cracks.
We came home early from the bars, picking up the makings of Scarlett O'Hara's.
Soon I was in liquor slumber, awakened by soft kisses.
Ending with his arm around my waist, only waking the next morning with the sun to go to my own room.

He likes Chopin and whiskey and gambles now and then.
When we're all studying we'll look up and he'll give me that smile, the one where we both want to sneak away and pretend I wasn't bad at commitment or making choices.
But my loyalties and my interests don't inhabit the same spaces.
Where are you L and why did you morph from my prince to my friend once again?
Sometimes people will say that you don't love someone if you're interested in another.
And I think that's because we don't all want to believe it, like it could happen to us.
We don't want to believe that people are as much like the wind as you think.
Transitory and graspless.

Who am I?
Sometimes the thought flits through my mind as I approach the bar.
The distance from standing to the ground is far when you're squatting with long legs.
I load the plates one at a time, quickly putting on the clips with a little snap.
They've always been a measure of who I was since I began my recovery.
Something about breaking 90, using great force to overcome the weight on your shoulders.
Something about overcoming who you see in the mirror.
We're all doing paradoxical things.
Some of us destroying things more than others.

<Light me on fire, I'll set a blaze in your heart.>


My iron will wasn't so iron and in the end I became molten metallic with a hint of blood.
I thought maybe I had found the person I wanted to spend my life with.
It's that unexplainable feeling that lovers whisper to themselves in the middle of the night.
That secret feeling you keep to yourself, buried in your heart.
He dismantled that and all I want to know is what changed?
How?
Something is stirring.
It's that subtle rush of wings in your chest,
"Almost time to fly."
There's a reason he came like brutal rain.
There's a reason he rips negativity from my marrow and burns it.

I got lost in the moment.
Skin craving his touch like fresh dawn.
Why not with L?
I was emotionally naked with L, and to a large extent, him.

I want to write on what's happening.
Something beautiful and terrible and confusing.
Like a storm, like softness, like disoriented time.
I grasp for words and emotions and I come up short every time.
I was (am?) in love with my very dear friend.
Maybe it was poor timing as it's always been...
Dove headfirst to escape my abusive previous relationship.
I won't tell him. Can't.
There's something there.
And if I'm being honest, I want this.
I want to be in my 20's having a whirlwind romance.
Soft sighs in the night.
No reservations, no destination.
Just lips to skin.
Knees touching under the table.
Words with double meanings around friends.
Talking about music and life and the soft spots in our hearts.
He's been healing me.
Making me comfortable with my body, my mind.
Almost as though he was supposed to be the one that prepared me for that terrible thing commitment, even if it's not with him.
Or L.


The sun refracts through my eyes and through the trees.
Air warm, sun a gentle fall.
Eyelashes softly flutter as night comes.
Fifth cup of coffee with cream.
Table covered with law books and Spanish and a research proposal like crumpled leaves.
"Do you like riddles?"
"Only until I can't guess the answer."
"Oh, this one would take you weeks. You may never get it."
"Tell me anyway."
"The tip of my tongue is already touching the roof of my mouth."
"That's it?"
"Good luck."
"Does it answer my text?"
"It's an answer. Far more cheesy than your text. There's so much in words. And it's a statement. Cleverly veiled. But now once you figure it out, you'll know what I meant, and when I meant it. And you will be surprised."
"What if I can never figure it out?"
"Then you'll never figure it out."




Monday, September 23, 2013

The Call of the Void



"Don't move," he said, pushing me up against the wall.
His lips grazed mine ever so softy and I held stone still.
Again his lips passed across mine, my top across his bottom, and he backed up, looking into my eyes.
"You didn't move."
"You told me not to," I exhaled.

I saw him that day as I was picking up my dumbbells.
He was well muscled, but it was proportionate.
Longer hair, not too tall, some facial hair.
Not the usual male I see at the gym.
Just a look.
I crossed over to the cables searching for the pulldown bar.
Looking up, I saw it next to him.
Smiling, he handed it to me.
And I went on my way.
Days later, at the desk, he came to get his package.
Introductions, a few polite questions.
He was a law student and lived in the next building over.
He turned to leave, "I like your dress. The colors look good on you."
Flush of the cheeks.
There the compliment lay.

..............

We lay there in the dark on our backs, blanket wrapped around me to keep the heat in.
My head lay on L's shoulder, his cheek resting against my head, curls tickling my forehead.
"When I cheated on my ex it was purely physical for me. It's like I can't connect my physical and emotional parts of me, so it wasn't because I wanted to be with the other person. That's why if he did cheat on me physically, I would't be as upset as if he did emotionally. It's more hurtful, to me, if he were to share who he was with her. Does that make sense?"
"Kind of."
"Do you ever just get lost in the moment when we do things?"
"Yes."
"I don't get that. It's not because I don't love you, it's just that I can't connect them. I'm trying though. That's why it was never anything more than that. I can't feel."
Quiet for a moment. He puts his arm across me, pulling me closer.
"I'm glad you're trying and I'll do my best to help you to be healthy."

..............

We met each other formally as I sat and talked with friend outside their building.
He was intelligent, that much was evident from the words he chose to his wit.
Challenges intrigue me, so we talked back and forth, making small and harmless digs, talked about music and whatever else.
It was a dance, baiting, and interesting.
At one point our friends stopped talking with each other and watched us.
There was an air of electricity, neither breaking eye contact, neither wanting to back down.
That night we sat, his friend, he and I, and drank a little, talking long into the night about things I don't normally share.
A collection of people sharing secrets and struggles.
Eating disorder, abuse, a father that died, a sister with bipolar.
At five am his friend went to bed, and at six-thirty, I made my way to bed too.
His confidence was intriguing.
His mind interesting.
Meeting with unstoppable forces always makes me hungry for destruction.

We went out to the bars with his friends that weekend.
We studied together last week.
There was always something he was good at or something he knew.
He had stories and laughed easily.
He coaxed out confidence from me and helped me with my writing when doing my literature review.
Friends.
I have many guy friends, it wasn't out of the ordinary.
And then it has been a long week and we bought beer to drink while we did homework.
Suddenly it was there, the chemical fire.
Lips to lips.
Fire.
Electricity.
And that was all that happened, but I scrambled to get my things and leave, knowing that wasn't all that would have the potential to burn.
I didn't understand why I had done it, and as I laid on my friend's lap, she tried to make sense of my mind.

"I think you're self sabotaging. You were unhappy for so long that you don't know how to let someone treat you good."
"I didn't mean to! I mean, yes, I wanted to kiss him but I just think he's attractive and I like him as a person. I love L."
"I know you do. You're really happy now."
"He's still the person that I want marry. Does that even make sense? It wasn't emotional for me. Only physical."
Everything is a desperate attempt at making someone understand when you're drunk.
"No, I totally understand what you mean. Maybe you should tell him?"
"I can't. It will break his heart. It's a compulsion. Cheating like that isn't even something personal for me. It's just this problem I have."
"Don't make any decisions until you're sober, okay? I know it wasn't for you but you can't do that anymore."
"I'm a terrible person. I'm a whore."
"No you're not. Stop. You're scared."

.............

I doubted myself. Not him. 
I doubted that I was enough. 
I began to slowly feel the way I used to. 
Silly me, thinking you just magically recover from an eating disorder and sexual abuse.
As though it was never there and it never seeped into the things you hold dear, trying to pollute them. 
Everything I ate became too much. 
Seeing muscle became a bigger obsession. 
Depression has been creeping up, reminding me that with the onset of fall, it won't be long until it moves back in. 
Cold. Dark. Anxious. 
Confidence always shaken because of the abuse and because of my last relationship. 
Doubting everything. 
Fear over applying to graduate school and failing my current research class. 
The realization that I very much have the capability to be unstoppable but hold myself back. 
He reminded me of those things I forgot, showed me there is a light inside as fact, not as a way to interest me in him.
As though they were things I should naturally see in myself.  
In my previous relationship I would have had feelings for him beyond attraction.
I like his mind and the sexual chemistry.
That's all. 

As laid curled up in bed, as we held hands, as I watched him play his guitar at church, his smile, the forehead kisses out of nowhere, I knew that I had no other feelings for someone like I do for him. 
He isn't perfect.
He's awful at talking about how he feels. 
The kitchen is messy. 
He has yet to learn how to properly kiss and everything else will have to follow in learning over time. 
Yet he still takes care of me, listens, and lets me do what I need to do to grow. 
I curled into him, crying, tears being pushed by stress over the precipice of my eyes.
I was tired of everyone making me eat pasta, my fear food. 
I was tired of school and all the pressure. 
I hated that my dad and I weren't close and that my step mom had brought up my eating disorder again at the table that night, that my dad makes jokes to help him, like I should be okay with that. 
Like I should be ashamed that it hurts him so much. 
My student loans were too high. 
My body too big. 
Paying interest on the emotional damages done to me. 
He held me, letting me implode then pulling me out. 
And I knew, again. 
He's it. 
He's the one. 
And I'm an idiot. 
And scared. 
And insecure. 
Painfully vulnerable in the healing process. 

It's a habit for me to self-destruct. 
I like meeting immovable forces. 
And the chase is a challenge I love. 
Let me win. I'll show you that I'm powerful.  
Make you want me. 
Interesting. Seductive in my genuine and honest nature. 
It's all a game, one I win at. 
Stone passion, electric intrigue, but the wire is frayed between head and heart.
And in the end, the immovable force is the softest, kindest person I know. 
Connecting the wires, one at a time. 
My insides revolt, in turmoil, writhing from feeling real electricity. 

Will I tell him? 
Someday. 
Maybe never. 
I almost didn't write about it because of the disappointed reactions I'll receive. 
I'm disappointed enough in myself. 
In the end I felt enough guilt to deter me from it happening again, both of us agreeing to be friends.
He, liking me much more than he anticipated. 
Giving reasons why I should try things with him but also respecting my relationship, saying that if I'm happy, he's happy for me. 
That it's sad, that we are nearly the same people and click so well, that we wouldn't give it a try. 
The experience was a mirror though, cold and pale. 
Skin feeling suffocating once again. 
Emotions feeling heavy and leaving me dangerously open.
Slipping up makes you feel something close to being a failure. 
Recovery is difficult. 
I'm a recovering anorexic. I'm a recovering sexual abuse victim. I'm a compulsive cheater that makes it seem better by not sleeping with any of them. I like to manipulate the emotions of people I perceive to be stronger than me because for a minute, I'm in control. I'm intelligent but duty makes me lazy. 
There's a huge heart in there, kind, open, always willing to help, violently rebelling against the above bad. 
There's someone wild inside, someone wildy hopeful. 
I have more work to do. 

"It's like that French phrase. L'appel due vide." 
"What does it mean?"
"It's like when you want someone to fill the void." 
I nodded looking it up. 
'The urge some people get to jump from high places when they encounter them.'
I smiled, "Something like that." 




Friday, September 13, 2013

Merry Go Round



I had never shied away from the experiences of others.
Never minded what they had gone through.
Trust me to be level headed and cool in the face of emotional situations.
We looked at each other through the glass, each holding a phone to talk to one another.
The rims of his eyes filled again with tears and he placed his hand against the glass.
I'll never forget that feeling, the one where someone is so close to you but so far away.
Fingertips touch in spirit as they compress against cold glass.
He sniffles.
I look down, tears migrating to mine now.
Looking over, you can see the many faces of the women all speaking animatedly or sadly into their phones.
Everything is severe in a way, the cold metal and florescent lights too bright.
Absently I wondered if the reason all the chairs were such an off, outdated color was because the lights had sucked life from even them.
It did a little more every time I visited.
What do you expect to see when you go to a jail or a prison?
Definitely not humanity.
Not the mother of a high school sport superstar.
Not the nice, white families.
We expect ugliness, minorities, monsters.
We all think it at some point.
But I've seen them.
Sorrow comes in all colors and demographics.
And I never saw monsters.
When he was moved to the prison I would look up at the guard towers, somehow not understanding that they would shoot a person for crossing a red line for too long.
Barbed wire conveniently keeps us out, not them.
We don't want to have to make anymore excuses for why we can't love others.

My phone rang as I lay in bed, contemplating waking up.
It was a number I didn't recognize.
"Hello?"
"I got caught in my UA. They saw the bottle. I'm going back. I'm sorry."
"What? Like you're going back to prison?"
"Probably. I'm sorry. I really am."
"I thought you were doing better..."
Sadness laced my voice, his had remorse mixed in.
"I feel like this is my fault. I kept you here all those years."
"It wasn't. It was my choice.
I called his uncle for him and then laid there.
Some part of me with undertones of selfishness thanked God because I didn't want to do the roller coaster that is incarceration.
"You'll need to get your dog when you come to town next."
You'd think that his uncle's words would ring sweet to me.
I got everything I wanted...
A perfect guy, my dog, graduating college..
And yet....
There it was. It was that knot in my chest. It had never left.
Instinct to swoop in and take care of him, ex boyfriend or not.

His parole officer called me.
He wanted to know if he could write me.
I said of course.
I have a stack of letter from prison hidden away in drawers.
Voices of loneliness, promises, and pain.
Those dagger words you keep locked away that you can't say face to face.
A voice of longing, a voice of hope, a voice lost.
I asked her if he really was getting treatment and she said that he was.
They were just waiting for a spot to open...
And there I was, tears coming to my eyes once again.
There I was, back in time,
Opening the drawer to get a spoon and finding less each time I came home until one day there was only one left.
There I was eating dinner alone and finding him nearly overdosing a time or two in the shower, crying over the bowl I kept emptying that I had brought for him to throw up in.
"You have to drink this water, please" I begged.
Asking for milk because it was supposed to help a cocaine overdose.
Sneaking anti-naseua medicine into his soup so that maybe he wouldn't throw it up.
Shame haunting his eyes.
Wrapping him in a blanket and holding him.
"I don't know what to do!" I cried as I curled around him.

In the end, I never saw his addiction like I did when I was 18 and 19.
And I never saw it the way he did.
He hid killing himself better and better.
I hid my selfishness and disdain for the situation less and less.
They do it to themselves, of course.
No different than when I restrict, then work out, then put my hand to my chest as my heart beats strangely, aching.
There is only so much sympathy we can garner for our self inflicted hells.
But I can't help breaking that people hurt as much as they do, I, helpless to do anything but love.

He asked if I would put money on his books to write and I said I would.
He asked if I would put money on for him to call me.
I hesitated.
"It's like that, huh? Never mind."
"No... I just, I just don't get paid until next Thursday."
There is was.
There was the chasm we had pretended wasn't there.
And I didn't know what to do with it.

Life seems like a merry go round sometimes.
We think we're going somewhere and headed in the right direction and there we are again.
I guess I feel some guilt, even if it's not mine.
I broke up with him, led him on even if it wasn't fully intentionally, just dumped him out of no where and didn't do anything to fix it.
That didn't help his recovery.
He didn't do all he could to help his recovery
I know that I'm not responsible for his actions and his emotions and yet I still feel that need to take care of him.
There I am, coming back around the other side of the merry go round again.
Part of me feels guilt that I'm happy it's no longer my responsibility, that I can love from a distance but it's not my life I have to make choices for anymore.
Now I'm with someone that doesn't use and doesn't put me at risk that way.
Someone that doesn't bring out that selfish and angry side that hurts him more.

Every time we go to the park and eat the soft serve everyone raves about all summer, we sit on the bench closest to the merry go round.
We laugh as we poke fun at the music that grates on your nerves after the third time and giggle at the reactions of the children.
I love the black horse; I pick him out every time.
Rich black paint with a mane that has pink strands painted throughout.
Strong flanks, tall.
Gold paint on his saddle and pinks on his hooves.
He is strong, wild looking, despite his medieval style head piece.
Ready for battle. Domineering.
"Why do you think they're so angry looking?" I muse to L.
"Maybe they just froze them as they were and then put them on there. I wouldn't be very happy either if someone captured me and made me do this all day." 
That's how it really is though, in life, I mean.
We are captured by our lusts and hopes, tamed by the places we go and the things we see, hearts we break, times we break our own.

We giggled to ourselves, sometimes making outlandish explanations for things.
I steal a few licks of his cone as he pretends to be mad.
We were wild once.
Until we created those outlandish excuses that keep us on our merry go rounds.



Monday, September 9, 2013

Currents



Friday is the day we're all waiting for from the moment we open our eyes Monday mornings.
This one was no different.
After the gym and my classes I loaded up my car and made the few hour journey back home.
I guided my poor old car through the exit, to the stop light, took a right, went for five miles, took a left, then surged down the street to park by his house.
Keys, phone, windows up, locked my car, barreling out.
It didn't matter that I don't have AC and it's still hot,
Or that my hair was a mess from the windows down, deodorant tapping out.
As soon as I knocked on his door his face exploded into a smile, wrapping me into a eager hug.

We stripped down to underwear, skin sticky from the dying summer.
Getting ready to shower, he stopped and cupped my face in his hands.
His blue eyes looked into my green ones, smiling softly and kissing me gently.
It had been an endless battle for years to not want to unzip my skin and walk out as the person I wanted to be.
As he tipped my head down and kissed my forehead, telling me how beautiful I was, I actually believed him.
I think it was in that moment, the beginning moment of many moments this past weekend, that I realized I was ready to move on with my life.
At a young age I was raised on the victim mentality diet.
Sexual abuse and then watching your mother cave to your controlling father made for a merry go round of emotions, thoughts, and feelings that were constantly being enforced.
I think you just eventually learn that how you feel and how reality is doesn't always line up, so hold on.
Put the happiness of other before yours.
Don't cry.
Look beautiful on the outside, even if you wither away inside.
Hide the dirty of your decay under the aspiration of others.
You are not valid. Crazy. Unjustified.
It's not the expectations of others that truly gets us in the end, it's the cages we constructed, thinking it would keep them out, but locking us in.
In that moment, with the water rushing over us, wrapped in another hug he's always so generous with, I just wanted to be naked, in every way I had never let myself.

He let me play a few crappy pop songs mixed in with our favorite metal bands and talked endlessly about this or that.
Always an ease of laughter between us. 
We pulled into his brother's driveway and unloaded our things, his family greeting me like I belonged. 
When it was finally time for bed, he lay with his arm around me, shifting throughout the night to be close to me once again if we had rolled apart. 
Saturday morning was a rush of packing food and beer and then his brother, sister-in-law, her sister and her sister's husband, he, and I loaded into cars to head to the river. 
We took a few wrong turns and his brother and sister-in-law bickered over the map. 
You couldn't help but smile because you know they're one of those couples that don't mean it. 
Stopping to get her friend, she introduced me as the "future sister-in-law." 
I had a smile that could split my face in half. 
We finally reached the river after multiple bathroom breaks for her newly pregnant sister and already the temperature had reached 90's. 
By 1 pm we were in a tank floating down the river. 

What is tanking? 
Well, if you happen to be from a rural area and you happen to be close to a river, or you go to either of these places, you may participate in this summer past time. 
Just put a stock tank (usually for horses and cows) into the river and float down it. 
As we floated along, stopping for breaks at sand banks and the occasional climb to conquer a very steep side of sand, I slipped into the ease that is familiarity, new as it was. 
He opened another beer for me and I leaned back, letting the perfect day soak into my chest while his brother teased me about something. 
His sister-in-laws and friend talked and nagged as married women seemed to do.
Since beginning my lifting journey, I can now eat as much as his brother in one sitting, adopting a little joke now and then.
My eating disorder remains silent through the whole thing, no guilt. 
I have yet to find out why.
When someone would be sarcastic or tease L would lean over and tell me he loved me, laughing softly. 
There was something so perfect about that afternoon, something like comfort and belonging. 

One of my very good friends for over seven years, now the person I would be spending my life with.
"She told me you guys talked when you were swimming, said that she thinks the only thing stopping you from proposing early is what everyone would think." I teased. 
"Yah, I just told her that you know when you know. She said she knew you were the one the day at the lake before we were together. I guess when we went to the car she went to the window to see if we would kiss. Did we?" 
"Of course," kissing his cheek. 
"I remember I went upstairs when you got up to go to the bathroom so that I could kiss you in the hallway." 
I can't explain what happened this weekend, but something was different.
I know that we've only started dating, but going on our seventh year of being friends, it's like it's been forever.
It didn't matter who was around, he would hold my hand, stroke my arm, hug me, kiss my forehead or cheek.
It was so simple and nothing like angsty PDA.
Except when we got back, only us in the house while they went to pick up their son from the neighbors, lips finding each other, fingers twisting around his curls.
Like life had aligned correctly for once, situated where it should be.
Our families know that we want to date for marriage and they're okay with it, happy even.
I guess I never thought I would be there.
I probably sound like one of those girls even, the ones the string hopes likes beads on the string of denial.
It's different.
I promise.
There's never been someone that wanted the same things I did or wanted to put in the amount of work I did.
Until now. Why not hold on?

I've never been adored.
I've never been showered in such love.
We talked as soon as we got home, laying there on his futon.
Something about the future, our plans to find an apartment when I got accepted into grad school, about emotions we felt, memories that I didn't want to fade, then jokes.
I told him I wanted to learn to connect my emotions with our physical relationship, a big step in any victim's recovery.
I don't think of things like I did before, tainted with self-hatred and that starving depression.
Now, I just cry when there's too much to do.
Guilt still lingers for Tony as our talking becomes less and less, me unable to answer his questions or the pain ridden messages.
I can't make sense of myself or what I did. I don't know how or why or anything I should.
Every day will be a little easier.
I got on the scale Friday after food and water and clothes to find it at 145.
I don't think I've felt ugly or fat much since we've been together, something I'm grateful for.
Somehow I'm able to acknowledge my strengths and weaknesses both and be okay with them, for the most part.
Unless it comes to Tony... Deep roots to pull up there.

That's where life has come to.
And I wish you could see our smiles when we take pictures, and I wish you could know how much better I feel about things.
Not like I need him, but maybe he was what I needed.
I am growing up. Finally.
I hope and pray I'll get into my master's program.
I'm not so cynical about marriage.
I could consider having kids.
There is a side of me that's for me, the one I closed off, taking down a bar at a time.

Maybe it's not so wrong to be happy.
Maybe, maybe it's okay to grow into me.